As leaders, we can get caught up in the day-to-day stressors and issues that come with being in charge. The impact of a continuous loop of stressors can be unsustainable and overwhelming, especially if you don’t have the framework to deal with the ongoing demands effectively. To better understand how leaders can change the way they think to lead easily and create a healthier and thriving organization, I spoke with my friend Susie Moore.
Moore, a former Silicon Valley sales director, is now a highly respected author, international trust coach and expert advisor to major media. In her new podcast and latest book, Let It Be Easy, she shares her insights and life wisdom to help us reduce the stress that holds us back and create more peace and strength so we can perform better at work and in life. .
Our work is complementary, but the experiences we bring are vastly different. My background as a clinical social worker and trauma counselor defines my work as a business consultant. I have decades of experience helping individuals and organizations improve relationships and interactions through better communication. Moore’s wisdom, however, comes from direct experience of complex personal trauma that began at an early age. It taught her that how we think about a situation directly affects how we deal with it. She has a curious mind and an innate understanding of human behavior.
Here are the top three takeaways for leaders from our conversation.
Understand how your self-awareness influences your interpretations of events.
Self-awareness is when we are self-reflective and try to better understand ourselves and how we interact with our environment. “When you raise your awareness, you raise your awareness,” Moore says, “and then everything just gets a little bit easier because we’re more compassionate and connected.”
“We see the world and whatever is happening as external, outside of us, but it’s not,” Moore says. “It’s filtered through our own belief system.” We tell ourselves a story to help us interpret a comment or situation, but that story isn’t always accurate. “We’re not taught that we get to decide how we interpret news, personal events and outside information. But we can actually decide how we feel about a situation, and we can question our own thinking.”
Her point is well understood, because with self-awareness you gain insight into what is going on around you, allowing you to make more conscious and informed decisions. When you understand how you feel about a situation, why it works for you and why it doesn’t, you can see how we influence others and how they influence us. Self-awareness is the first tool I teach to participants in my online program The Communication Protocol, because it is impossible to have healthy conversations and productive interactions if you have limited self-awareness.
Imagine the future and communicate that vision to your entire team.
Many leaders have a vision for their organization, but drop the ball by not communicating that vision clearly to the team, and that omission is costly. Failure to inform your team of your new ideas and direction will create a divide within your organization. Instead of all working towards a common goal, your team now works in opposite directions.
“Leaders who are effective, who retain great teams, are constantly thinking and communicating about what’s next,” Moore says. “They need to see what can be, that doesn’t exist yet. In fact, their communication about what’s next is so clear that every team member gives a similar answer when asked about the vision of the company. Having a vision, communicating it clearly, And having everyone on board is very powerful.”
Clear communication, especially about the direction of the business, creates a lighter, more communicative work culture that gives you room to grow your organization.
Accept that difficult conversations are a necessary part of being a leader.
“As a leader, you signed up to have those tough conversations, and you need to be able to have those conversations,” Moore says. “You’re not out of luck. If there’s news to break for the team, or a change of direction, something you know people won’t be happy about, it helps to keep coming back to the vision and your team on it to remember that you are all working towards the same goal.”
My advice for helping leaders initiate those challenging interactions is to give the other person the benefit of the doubt and approach them from the perspective of wanting a conversation and clarification, rather than seeing it as a confrontation. see. Moore agrees that a change of mindset is important. “If leaders can understand and accept that difficult conversations are inevitable, then there is less resistance because they know it’s just part of the job.”
We all avoid awkward conversations sometimes, but they are part of the leadership area, and taking stock of the damage and losses that occur when there is a lack of communication can be an eye opener. For example, a Fortune 500 company I worked with had some team leaders who didn’t work well together. The company lost money because production, operations and production did not speak to each other. So projects came late, customers weren’t happy, and salespeople got frustrated. If no one knows how to have difficult conversations, they won’t happen and the underlying problems will continue to eat into your profits.
As leaders, entering into difficult conversations requires a shift in your thinking and the ability to turn to the other person or team, with a desire to relate to one another for the sake of the bigger picture – which is usually the organization. The bigger picture becomes the motivation to communicate better, increase your self-awareness and share your vision.
When we practice self-awareness, we are better equipped to make informed decisions rather than impulsive decisions when everyday stressors and problems arise. As leaders, we must recognize that we can choose how we respond to challenging situations.
“It’s a privilege to be a leader, to be accountable to other people, to be accountable for results, and to be the person who really makes decisions,” Moore says. “So we can never take that for granted.”
When we communicate our vision effectively, our team knows what to expect and everyone works towards the same goal. This makes the working environment lighter, more communicative and open, even when there are challenges. These factors then guide your thinking about everyday stressors and problems, and enable you to be a more effective leader.
Do you see how our way of thinking influences our decisions? That is the essence of Moore’s message and the best way to find ease in leadership and create a thriving organization. As Moore says, let it be easy!
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not Inc.com’s.
This post How to Change Your Thinking to Create a Thriving Organization
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